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Comment of the day: “I thought this all changed after Monica Geller purposed to Chandler Bing.” –Insiteful
For Valentine’s Day, Kay S. Hymowitz -- who writes extensively on American childhood, family and culture -- ponders why, in our modern post-feminist times, it’s still up to the man to propose marriage.
After reading her article, CNN.com readers posted their opinions and shared their own experiences. Manbearplg said, “I proposed on Valentine’s Day two years ago. Best decision ever and now the day takes on a whole new meaning.” PubliusNovus said, “My mother proposed to my father in the late 1970's (though not in the same decked-out manner, nor possessing any ring) and is hardly what someone would call a feminist.”
Insiteful said, “When the woman asks the man, does she give him the ring? Seems to be a good cost saving measure for the guys.” DP2010 said, “They ask because we tell them to.” But LanceSmith said, “Any woman who expects me to get down on one knee and beg for her attention is not the woman for me. I am happy to say that when I proposed to my wife, we stood as equals.”
Many CNN.com readers said it’s all about the ring. fr0gp0nd said, “A large part of the reason why we still have this tradition is probably due to the diamond companies wanting to make a fortune on all those rings, as well as all the other business that profit from Valentine's Day!” menace8012 said, “I would love a woman to ask me to marry her. That way I could get a $5,000 to $10,000 present just for saying yes.”
On another note, ethos76 said, “For the first time, the proportion of people between the ages of 25 and 34 who have never been married exceeded those who were married in 2009—46.3 percent versus 44.9 percent. Women better start proposing!” And Goodna said, “My advice, as a 45-year-old male, to any young man who is thinking about proposing is, do not do it. I am single and could not possibly be happier. I can enter and exit relationships as I see fit, am not stuck making love to the same woman every night and am totally free to do what I want when I want.”
When Han Besou, 55, heard the roar of a tiger and the screams of her husband, she grabbed a large soup spoon and charged. Luckily, it worked, and the tiger ran off, leaving her husband injured but alive in a Malaysian forest.
CNN.com readers praised the brave wife. Lovely mama said, “Never underestimate the power of kitchen tools and an act of true love.” leeintulsa said, “Reminds me of the old lady driving off jewelry store thieves with her purse. It's the year of the old ladies.” Julia responded, “55 isn't an old lady! One tough broad maybe...” crabby said, “Awesome woman with pretty big balls! My husband would have been dinner! JEff B responded, “I think MY wife would have given the tiger a fork and knife!” Maryland, USA said, “We could use fewer Tiger Mothers like Amy Chua and more Tiger Wives like Han Besou.” Really? said, “That tiger ran into a lioness!” And harimau said, “Umm, I'd like a wife like that.”
Whatever else you want to say about it, this year’s Grammy Awards weren’t boring. Lady Gaga arrived in an egg, for example. But the biggest surprise of the night was Arcade Fire, an independent rock band from Canada, winning album of the year. Oh, and Jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding beat out Justin Bieber to win the best new artist award.
Many CNN.com readers were dismayed by the Arcade Fire win, while some saw it as a welcome change. Steelerguin said, “The Grammys became relevant when Arcade Fire beat Gaga and the rest for album of the year.” trav202 said, “I love that Arcade Fire beat out the big names. I find most indie music to be a tad pretentious but I've been listening to AF since around '05 and Win Butler is a genius.” But skullnrose said, “An indie band with no airplay whatsoever? Sorry that some people think the Grammys shouldn't be a popularity contest, but at least find a band that can put out at least one radio worthy tune!”
Not many CNN.com readers were sympathetic that Lady Gaga lost the album of the year award. Jimmietee said, “Gaga wants a world where people don't judge yet she accepted all three of her Grammys? She means other than judging her art?” Ironhouse said, “I like that Gaga continues to shock and awe with her tricks that she stole. Dali was doing this stuff for his openings long before Gaga could even say her own name.” But talkiseasy said, “I like Lady Gaga. I’m sorry a group I never heard of won the big prize. She deserved it. Her album had several monster hits.”
And what about the Biebs? PapiBlogger said, “Not a Bieber fan here, but seriously he was robbed! The kid is more talented.” Others disagreed. Joot said, “The award is for the best new artist, not the most popular amongst the teeny-boppers new artist award.” Mike Ross said, “Bieber is a good performer, but Spalding is a true artist.”
Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity
fr0gpond - you got it right - Its the diamond ring. The day will come when Women will get total equality. This drop the price of diamond perhaps by 50% or more.
Everyone is held captive by DeBeer. duh....
Women should only ask if is the last chance she is giving the guy.
Some things are better left unchanged. We don't have to change EVERY tradition in the name of equality.
The ring is a sign of ownership.
It says 'Stay away other men, this woman is taken."
I refused to give my wife an engagement ring for this reason.
I did give her an "I will love you forever" ring which was set with her favorite stone (not a diamond).
Girlfriends are better than wives! With the divorce rate around 50% and the majority of women filing for divorce, why would a man want marriage? I am not interested in a partnership where I severely loose if we breakup, when I can get the exact same benifits from doing the girlfriend routine.
Help me out. I ordered flowers for my Valentine last week to be delivered today, Valentine's Day. I used 1-800flowers and ordered online. I received email confirmation that the ordered was processed and ready for delivery, the problem was they never delivered them. I finally called at 5 PM and they said "oops were sorry we will refund your money" like this will make every thing alright. Please everyone do not do business with this company, and please feel free to call them and tell them how they ruined my Valentine's Day.
How is that suppose to make up for my Valentine being at work watching all her friends getting flowers and gifts and her getting nothing.
Whats a guy to do.
Engagement rings are going the way of the dinosaur too. And what difference does it make who asks? Whoever asks, it tells the asker whether his/her partner is ready for a lifetime committment, and if not, the asker can move on to find somebody who is.
There would be a lot more no's I can tell you that.
I like assertive women, I'm married now, but I still recall with a degree exasperation at just how old it got having to be the one to always make the first move.
Penalty is heavy this days for any man trusting a woman enough to marry her. Good luck to any man brave enough.
Yes. Not because that's right, but because men are skittish about marriage and such. I know that's a huge generalization, but it's pretty much right. And when in doubt, is there a rush?
Women are getting skittish too and have just as much to lose as men. Plus they're usually the ones to get stuck raising kids alone after a divorce. I say to all women--stay single. Date who you please, answer to nobody, and keep all your money to yourself.
Marriage is just an invitation for the added control of religion and government into your life.
So far two women have proposed to me in my life. One was Japanese and one was Mexican American. One I accepted but later separated because she wanted a family and I did not, and the other, I just did not accept because I was not ready at the time...nor am I ready now.
I see nothing wrong with females proposing. I believe in equality.
In an ideal world, marriage is a mutual decision. If the girl would like a ring, fine. If the guy would like to buy her a ring, great. It's a nice gift to give and to receive, but ultimately what makes a marriage successful or not is about much more important things than one little ring.
marriage is a joke. don't know what i saw in her 8 years ago... it sure isnt here now.
I proposed to my husband, he turned it down. Three months later he proposed to me and I excepted. Reason: We were both still in school and he had already decided he would pop the question at graduation.
I think it is the option of both men and women share.
The whole concept of marriage is in the process of changing. Within the next 50 years expect to see a rise in time-limited contract marriages. Contracts with pre-determined times at which the married couple re-evaluate their relationship and choose whether or not to renew their marriage. If they don't it expires and the end-clause (similar to a pre-nup) goes into effect. No messy and expensive divorce, less hurt feelings, yet for the duration of the contract there's still an obligation and incentive to work through any problems. The whole idea of "'til death do us part" is outdated and, as we continue to increase our lifespans, increasingly inconvenient (imagine adhering to this tradition when living for a couple centuries or more).
The idea of marriage has evolved throughout history, it will continue to change.
Men should ask the question - let's keep that tradition. I really don't see how a woman (or a man) are so surprised when the other 'pops the question.' A couple should discuss getting married, if they want to marry each other and when/how/where, etc. If a woman is doing it as a 'last resort' thing than obviously the man isn't looking for marriage or is not ready yet. Personally I am in a long term relationship and we both have agreed that we will get engaged and married but when we are out of graduate school and have jobs and are able to pay for our own engagement ring, apt, wedding and honeymoon. I may be getting married at 30 but at least I'll have a career and money in the bank.
@Goodna's response in the article: You'd think that'd be a guy's dream come true. Be single, sleep around, and have more freedom. But it's simply not the way God has designed sex or marriage. There are rights and wrongs. And as usual, doing what's right (commiting to and staying faithful to one's spouse), breeds happiness.
Men should propose. It is up to a man to decide who he wants to marry. It is not a woman's place to make decisions like that. And, it will save her the humiliation if she is not the one he wants as a partner. That would end it there, and she wouldn't get anymore good stuff as a side benefit of him taking his pleasures from her if she jumps into trying to propose herself.
Marriage is a lifetime committment. Divorce is NOT an option - unless one of you is cheating on the other. And, I think it would be awesome for a woman who loves her man to ask him to marry her. But I also believe that marriage should be according to the Bible. Husbands should love their wives and wives should obey their husbands. There would be FAR fewer divorces if everyone followed God's plan for marriage.
I am young and have never been married, nor have I ever been proposed to or proposed myself, yet I think it is important for the man to ask the question. I think it would be stupid to do it if he wasn't absolutely sure I was going to say yes, but I like to think that if he knows me well enough to ask to spend the rest of my life with him, then he will know I will say yes. I live in Finland where it is custom for both and man and woman to receive engagement rings, and then just the woman gets a wedding ring. It has been explained to me the reason for this, yet I still want the surprise, and thoughtfulness of my future husband planning out how to ask me.
If she proposes, does that he gets the kids, the house, and half of what she earns if they divorce?
I am in love with all women; but, unfortunately I can't take care of all of them. I will accept if one of them proposes to me.
Yes, you are correct. That's exactly what it means. I like your attitude.
The Texas Stud
The person who has the most to lose, and would get screwed the hardest in divorce court is the one who has the right to ask the other.
Because chances are, they will get screwed & loose a lot eventually.
Man: "I thought you believed in equal rights."
Woman: "Only when it works in my favor."
the whole man on his knee diamond ring thing is nice - but no longer relevant
unless the diamond is synthetic, there's no guarantee that it's conflict-free (even if it's supposedly certified as such)
if women are encourage to do whatever they like and are equal to men, they should feel just as comfortable proposing to the men they love
I don't want to get marry for the simple reason that I don't want to lose half of my money to someone else.
I have worked to hard for what I have, it would be unfair to give it to someone else after a divorse.
I proposed to the woman I have been with for four years. I didn't get on one knee. I like the comment about being equal and proposing as such. However, after about 4-5 months she decided we weren't getting married fast enough, decided it wasn't going to happen and took the ring off... 6 months later I asked her again and she put it back on. 2 months later she got angry with me and took it off again. A few months later I asked her again and again she put it back on. Last week I noticed she wasn't wearing it again... I told her the only reason a man takes his wedding ring off is 1. He's not married or 2. He doesn't want anyone to know he's not married. She put it back on... I don't know what to do with this. How many times do I need to propose before she gets it?
Marriage is becoming obsolete, and this is a silly way to try and revive it. Men are asking women to marry less and less because of the sexist nature of the contract, and the FACT that women are the ones ending marriage 70% of the time. If women want men to marry, they need to speak up to family courts about the following facts: 70% of divorces are initiated by women. 15% of fathers have custody of their children. Any married man can be forced to raise and pay for another man's child. It's called "putative fatherhood". Look it up. Unmarried men can never be forced to pay for their partner's infidelity. Marriage is a bad deal for men, so we aren't doing it as often.
My wife asked me 21 years ago, seemed to work. I guess we were real rebels.
I believe that people are free to do as they wish with weddings, but there is a part of me that holds deeply to the tradition of having the man propose. As much as people don't want to admit it, there are ways in which women and men differ in their attitudes and attributes. This is a complete generalization, as there are always exceptions to every rule. Men, most of the time, prefer to lead. This doesn't mean they want to order the woman around, but they want to set the course and to know where they are going. A woman, in general, wishes to know that she is "the one." Having a man propose makes the woman feel special and lets her know exactly how much she means to her partner. I personally even prefer if a man asks me out or makes the first move, as it shows me that he is interested. Truthfully, that feels great. In our society, women are told they need to frown upon that and be strong, independent, and not be afraid of asking a person out. Still, the idea of wanting to be led (not controlled) shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of.
The tradition of men proposing marriage to women dates back to a time when women had no legal or property rights (even concerning their own persons), thus being unable to propose anything legally binding.
Since women have had legal equality, including the right to make decisions concerning themselves (the status of a fetus as a separate person still being a point of contention), there is no logical reason for women not to propose marriage whenever they wish.
If this feels strange and uncomfortable, so did the concept of women wearing trousers 50 years ago, or in some parts of the world, not wearing burkas today.
Change is the only constant. Adaptation is the key to survival. Resistance only makes you look ridiculous.
Wow - what have you people been taught about other people ? It's sad to see so many bitter men. Well not THAT sad.
Perhaps this is a good reason for heterosexual men to support same-sex marriage - to spread the "pain" :)